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COA: will can be admitted in Indiana

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Relying on the majority rule, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded that a man’s will that was denied probate in Illinois could be admitted in Indiana to deal with real property located here.

Florian Latek owned his family’s farm in Porter County, but lived in Chicago and also owned real and personal property in Illinois. He executed a will, but he did not have it notarized. An Illinois court denied probate of Latek’s will because it failed to conform with Illinois’ self-proving requirements and because the witness’ signatures couldn’t be validated by testimony or by a formal attestation clause as required by Illinois law. His real and personal property in Illinois has since been distributed.

Nicholas Grapsas, the Illinois public administrator of Latek’s estate, challenged the admission and probate of the will in Indiana court concerning the Indiana property. Grapsas argued that because the Illinois court had already determined the will was invalid under Illinois law, Indiana was precluded under the doctrines of res judicata and full faith and credit from deciding the same issue.

On interlocutory appeal in In the Matter of the Estate of Florian T. Latek; Nicholas G. Grapsas, et al. v. Gerald Ronneau, No. 64A05-1103-ES-112, the COA found the majority rule – which provides that title to and disposition of real estate either by deed or will is governed by the law of the state where the land is situated – to be applicable. The judges cited cases from outside of Indiana as well as an Indiana Supreme Court case from 1897 that stated Indiana will follow the majority rule.

“We therefore conclude that under the majority rule, the Illinois Court’s denial of Latek’s Will to probate because it failed to comply with Illinois’s statutory execution requirements has no effect on the subsequent admission and probate of Latek’s Will in Indiana as it concerns the disposition of real property located in Indiana. Principles of res judicata and full faith and credit have no application in matters involving probate and title to realty,” wrote Judge Ezra Friedlander.

The appellate court also found the Indiana trial court did not abuse its discretion in appointing James Bozik, Latek’s attorney, as personal representative of Latek’s estate.

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  1. Im very happy for you, getting ready to go down that dirt road myself, and im praying for the same outcome, because it IS sometimes in the childs best interest to have visitation with grandparents. Thanks for sharing, needed to hear some positive posts for once.

  2. Been there 4 months with 1 paycheck what can i do

  3. our hoa has not communicated any thing that takes place in their "executive meetings" not executive session. They make decisions in these meetings, do not have an agenda, do not notify association memebers and do not keep general meetings minutes. They do not communicate info of any kind to the member, except annual meeting, nobody attends or votes because they think the board is self serving. They keep a deposit fee from club house rental for inspection after someone uses it, there is no inspection I know becausee I rented it, they did not disclose to members that board memebers would be keeping this money, I know it is only 10 dollars but still it is not their money, they hire from within the board for paid positions, no advertising and no request for bids from anyone else, I atteended last annual meeting, went into executive session to elect officers in that session the president brought up the motion to give the secretary a raise of course they all agreed they hired her in, then the minutes stated that a diffeerent board member motioned to give this raise. This board is very clickish and has done things anyway they pleased for over 5 years, what recourse to members have to make changes in the boards conduct

  4. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  5. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

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